© W-Film

Hannah - Ein buddhistischer Weg zur Freiheit (Hannah: Buddhism's Untold Journey)
U.K./Spain/Nepal/India/Hungary/Hong Kong 2014

Opening 18 Jan 2018

Directed by: Marta György-Kessler, Adam Penny
Writing credits: Marta György-Kessler, Adam Penny

In 1968 a young Danish couple traveled to Kathmandu on their honeymoon.  At that time the younger generation was looking for enlightenment through peace, love and psychedelics. The Beatles traveled to India, the Hari Krishnas become popular and meditation was a new experience. The young Danish couple, Hannah and Ole Nydahl, who traveled to Kathmandu, were looking for something new in their lives and never expected to become the messengers of Buddhism worldwide. Through studies of meditation they got to know the 16th Karmapa, the first known reincarnated Lama of Tibet who is the head of the Karma-Kargyü, at that time the largest school of Tibetan Buddhism. They were his first western students, and he ended up sending them out in to the world to spread the teachings of Buddha.

They helped open many Buddhist centers around the world, and Hannah became a personal translator for the Karmapa. Hannah and Ole traveled together, taught together, and experienced together. They believed so much in the importance of teaching and spreading Buddhism that they dedicated their whole lives to it, deciding not to have children. They survived a kidnapping in Columbia and were involved in the selection of the 17th Karmapa, helping to smuggle him to India when China got involved in the selection process and the  Karma-Kargyü school split into four parts.

Marta György-Kessler and the British producer Adam Penny created the Documentary Hannah using interviews and private film footage. They also traveled to the countries where Hannah and Ole had traveled for the film. Hannah Nydahl was a special person who brought joy and wisdom to the people she met. She inspired and taught all around the world up until 2007 when she returned to Denmark and was diagnosed with cancer, dying several months later. The documentary is an homage to her as a compassionate and enlightened woman who played a leading role in the spread of Buddhist practice and teachings. It is also a love story of her and Ole Nydahl. The film has won several awards worldwide. (Alana Leichert)

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